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July 23 2014

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8 posts tagged "Maiyet"

The Science of Sustainability

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No doubt sustainability is one of fashion’s hottest topics—first and foremost because we need to preserve the environment, and consider how what we wear impacts where we live. But all that is green has also become “trendy”—and for those not in the know, it’s hard to decipher the most important qualities when picking your socially conscious eco-chic duds. So in honor of Earth Day, Style.com spoke with renowned agronomist and 2004 MacArthur Fellow Pedro Sanchez of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Sandy Black, sustainable-fashion expert, professor at the London College of Fashion, and author of Eco-Chic and The Sustainable Fashion Handbook, about the dos and don’ts of sustainability. “It’s complex,” says Black, when asked to define sustainable fashion. “The big definition is about long-term sustainability, but also there’s the economic sustainability, then there’s ethical and social issues. So in a way, the best type of businesses have combined all sorts,” she adds. Meanwhile, Sanchez qualifies “sustainable” as having to do with the source of textiles. “Production has to be economically profitable, environmentally OK, and agronomically OK.” However, he continues, “Nothing is completely sustainable. We’re all going to die. And people need to think about the time dimension. For how long is something sustainable?” he asks.

This brings us to the question of natural versus synthetic fibers. “I’ve made some mistakes in buying polyester,” laughs Sanchez, noting that due to the carbon released into the environment during synthetic production, he’s a natural fibers kind of guy. But Professor Black suggests that we need to factor in the time component. “It’s not natural’s good, synthetic’s bad. You have to take the whole life cycle into account,” she says. “You only have to consider the amount of water and energy that’s used in washing T-shirts and jeans that isn’t needed when you have a polyester item. Polyester lasts an awful long time, and people can keep it for a long time.” Continue Reading “The Science of Sustainability” »

Designer Diary: Kristy Caylor’s Postcard from India

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“India is a huge part of our brand,” said Maiyet‘s Kristy Caylor. In an effort to foster self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in emerging economies, Maiyet, the conscious luxury brand cofounded by Caylor and Paul van Zyl in 2011, partners with artisans across the globe. For instance, the label’s handwoven silk and block-printed fabrics are made in Varanasi and Jaipur, respectively. And a few months ago, Caylor took photographer Cass Bird and model Daria Werbowy to both cities to shoot Maiyet’s Spring ’13 campaign, as well as a short film, which debuts exclusively above. “We wanted to incorporate the flavor of Maiyet from a product perspective, and also show the locations and cultures that mean a lot to us,” said Caylor of the Bird-lensed short. Indeed, it was a jam-packed trip, between shooting everywhere from the streets to the Ganges to Rambagh Palace, and visiting local artisans. But the team had some playtime, too—and they used it to watch sunsets over the river, take elephant rides, and make the acquaintance of a mischievous-looking monkey at Jaipur’s Amber Fort. Caylor, who visits India a few times a year, is set to head back this June, when she’ll continue to develop a new facility that will provide better working conditions for artisans. (As it happens, June will also mark the launch of Maiyet’s first store, on Crosby Street). Caylor chronicles her most recent Indian adventure for Style.com, below.

Sunrise on the Ganges in Varanasi.

Shooting Daria on the ghats in Varanasi. Continue Reading “Designer Diary: Kristy Caylor’s Postcard from India” »

Maiyet’s Movies

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The Geoff Dyer novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is made up of two not exactly connected halves. In the first part, the titular Jeff performs his quasi-professional duties as an art writer making the rounds at the Venice Biennale, i.e., party-going, swilling free drinks, and mingling with the beautiful and fabulous. The novel’s second half, meanwhile, follows an unnamed protagonist, Jeff perhaps, as he wanders, mostly on his own, through the ancient Indian city of Varanasi. Last night’s party in London for Maiyet weirdly merged the two halves of Dyer’s novel. On the one hand, the NOWNESS-hosted shindig had everything a scene-maker could ask for, what with free Champagne (and food, to boot), a performance by Josephine and Alexandre de la Baume’s band, Singtank, and name-drop-worthy attendees like Felicity Jones and Tallulah Harlech. And the Varanasi of it all was amply represented by Maiyet founders Paul van Zyl and Kristy Caylor, who spoke to the assembled crowd about their company’s mission to incorporate rare artisanal skills into their clothes, and specifically about their jacquard production based in…Varanasi. “It’s one of those places that changes you,” Caylor noted, affirming Dyer’s read on the city. “I almost don’t even know how to describe it.”

Varanasi isn’t the only place Maiyet has laid down roots. The brand also has a presence in Kenya, which provided the setting for the series of short films director Cary Fukunaga (who also directed Jane Eyre) made for its Resort 2013 collection. The debut of a re-edited version of the vignettes, which combine them into one short film, served as the occasion for last night’s festivities. “We really just love to work with creative people,” Caylor said when asked if she and van Zyl were planning any future film productions. “That could be a weaver in a small town somewhere, or it can be someone like Cary. I think our next collaboration could be a piece of music, or anything really. It could take any form.”

Photo: Courtesy of NOWNESS

Lots To See, Just One Eye

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Just One Eye is not your typical e-tailer. For starters, their brick-and-mortar flagship stands in the mazelike Hollywood compound where Howard Hughes used to live, work, and seduce movie stars. But really, it’s their product selection that makes them so extraordinary. Where else could you find a Warhol-signed Rolling Stones necktie tee, some Carlo Bugatti chairs, and a range of antique fine jewelry alongside looks from Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Olympia Le-Tan, and Maiyet? Since opening the store last spring, co-founder Paola Russo (formerly of Maxfield) has focused on mixing fashion and art. And we mean big-time art. Ed Ruscha has been collaborating in various ways since the shop’s launch. Work by Murakami, among others, hangs on the walls at headquarters. And today, the shop is launching the first in an ongoing series of artist/designer collaborations, debuting a limited-edition range of Damien Hirst-decorated backpacks from The Row.

According to Russo, Just One Eye’s interest in commissioning these projects comes from the store’s mandate to create “specialness.” “Our vision,” she explains, “is to make and sell things that will last. We don’t want to be involved with mass-produced fads,” she says. “Real luxury is something that is timeless and exceptional.” Naturally, true luxury comes with a hair-raising price tag. Or, in the case of the backpacks, which ring in at a cool $55,000, a gasp-worthy one. But it helps to know that some of that cash will go to a good cause. A portion of the proceeds from the bags will be donated to UNICEF; ditto Just One Eye’s next, more cost-democratic collaboration, which will see Nate Lowman teaming up with Converse. “He’s painting 25 pairs,” says Russo. “So the question for the people who buy these shoes will be, you know, do you wear them, or keep them as art?” A question many of us have posed about our shoes. But not typically of our sneakers.

Visit Just One Eye at justoneeye.com.

Maiyet’s Girl: Daria Werbowy

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Luxury label Maiyet is preparing to show for its third season in Paris next week. But before then, the conscious clothing brand, by African human rights lawyer Paul van Zyl and former Band of Outsiders president Kristy Caylor, gave us the exclusive first look on the set of its Fall 2012 ad campaign, shot by Cass Bird in Kenya (one of the locations where they employ local artisans to create the goods). Here, watch Daria Werbowy model the brand’s cozy knits and military coats for Fall (on sale at Barneys now). Check back on Style.com Monday, October 1, to see the full Spring ’13 collection and our review.